Created By: Raven Wilder on January 15, 2010

Family Values Villain

Name Space:
Page Type:
Faith: "Thanks, sugar daddy!"
The Mayor: "Now, Faith, I don't find that sort of thing amusing. I'm a family man. Now, let's kill your little friend."
-Buffy the Vampire Slayer, "Dopplegangland"

Some villains have standards. They might have no problem gunning cops down in cold blood, but they aren't going to do anything to children. Or they might be willing to blow up a city for a holy cause, but not for money. Somewhere they have to draw the line.

And for a handful of villains, that line is, "Anything the Brady kids learned an Aesop about." Yes, these are bad guys who believe in good old fashioned family values. Being a kingpin in the international drug trade might be fine, but giving alcohol to minors, most certainly not! It's their duty as a loyal citizens to show respect and admiration for the local police, but nothing says they can't do that and bribe the cops into murdering their enemies. And, of course, sexual intercourse outside of marriage is strictly prohibited ... unless it's non-consensual, then they can just go wild.

Not all examples of this trope are as self-contradictory as the ones above, though. In some cases, promoting family values may be the reason the villain is doing all these horrible things, making them a Knight Templar. And in other cases the family wo/man routine might simply be an act, designed to ensure they remain a Villain with Good Publicity.

But then again, some just don't seem to see anything odd about speaking an arcane ritual to summon horrific demons into the mortal plane, then lecture some kids about saying "darn" instead of "damn."


  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer villain Mayor Richard Wilkins III is really the pinnacle of this trope. He's made deals with dozens of different demons, founded a town specifically so he could lure in people to be killed by monsters, orders numerous thefts and assassinations (including against newborn infants), and his master plan is to become a giant demon that will devour everyone in sight. But he still believes in setting a good example for the children, is disgusted by "immoral liasons" at the local motel, and his last words to his vampire army before the final battle are, "And boys? Let's watch the swearing." How much of this is an act, how much his real personality, and how much an act he's been doing so long it's become his real personality is unclear.
  • In Under the Dome Second Selectman Big Jim Rennie is a born again Christian who has refused to swear or drink since his conversion, and believes highly in family unity. That doesn't stop him from being a Complete Monster who plots a hostile takeover of the town, fills the police force with rape-happy Mooks, sets up the largest meth lab in the country, and kills members of his family. It's for "the good of the town," afterall.
Community Feedback Replies: 7
  • January 15, 2010
    Real Life: Mob boss "Diamond Jim" Colosimo had no problems running prostitution rings and illegal gambling in Chicago, but when Prohibition went into effect he refused to have anything to do with bootlegging. (Within five months Colosimo was shot to death and his second-in-command Johnny Torrio had moved into alcohol smuggling, but that would be another trope.)
  • January 16, 2010
  • January 16, 2010
    This is not Affably Evil, because they might not be affable. This is where they have what is called in the USA "family values", yet are still evil.

    I guess this is a sub-trope of Even Evil Has Standards. They have standards, "family values" standards, but they are still evil.

    • Dolores Umbridge of the Harry Potter novels seems to be this type of person. No lying, no swearing, and so on.
  • January 16, 2010
    Would Straight Edge Evil be a common theme or sub-trope?
  • January 16, 2010
    This is Straight Edge Evil. Thanks for mentioning that trope, I didn't know it existed.
  • January 16, 2010
    Raven Wilder
    Yeap, was totally unaware that trope existed. It's a shame, cause personally I think this description was a lot more colorful than the one for Straight Edge Evil.
  • January 16, 2010
    You can work on the description of Straight Edge Evil if you wish. Remember Wiki Magic is the rule here.